Dragons are a fascination with anyone interested in mythology and magical creatures. Many a good old story as well as modern fantasy fiction includes dragons. The legendary beasts themselves actually take very different forms in different cultures, but the ways in which they are depicted in unique dragon figurines are fairly accurate. If you do not know a Chinese dragon figurine from a Southwest dragon figurine, here is more on the types of dragons and how to tell them apart.
Chinese dragons are very distinct in appearance. They generally do not have wings, but were said to be flying creatures nonetheless. Their magic is what carried them through the air. Horns on a Chinese dragon look more like antlers, and they have long, catfish-like feelers extending from the sides of their mouths and faces. The Chinese celebrate their dragons with enormous puppeted costumes in parades every year, if you need a visual point of reference.
European dragons came in all shapes, sizes, number of heads, scales, colors, and with or without wings. If you spot a dragon figurine without wings, and it does not resemble a Chinese dragon in the least, you probably have a wingless European dragon. These are the fierce, terrible, gold-hoarding, beautiful-maiden stealing dragons common to many fairy tales.
Southwestern U.S. Dragons
Even the natives of the Southwestern U.S. had their dragons and dragon tales. Their versions are usually winged serpents that have no appendages for grabbing and holding, which makes the creatures rather mild in comparison with their European cousins. These winged serpents are often depicted curled up and sleeping, or poised and ready to strike like rattlesnakes. If you encounter any other posture of winged serpent, you have a very unique figurine indeed.
Since most dragons of lore were said to be solitary creatures and mating rituals required them to travel beyond their home territory, it is possible that you could get combination dragons. As such, you might see dragon figurines that combine features of European and Southwestern dragons, or Southwestern dragons and Chinese dragons. All the features that these dragons have could result in multiple dragon subtypes, which is why some of the more unique figurines you can buy depict the oddest or scariest features. Whatever types of dragons spark your imagination, there is one or more that will probably draw you to them and make you want to collect them.